SantellanoMs. Sally.jpg

Sally Santellano



Principal Santellano's passion for education began when she was a volunteer in Kingston Jamaica through the Passionist Volunteers International Program. Through this program she spent a year supporting families in the Kingston community. There she witnessed the transformative power of education and committed herself to the profession of teaching. She joins the St. John de la Salle community after holding various teaching and leadership positions for 13 years in the Diocese of Gary. In 2005, Mrs. Santellano was honored with the Teacher of Excellence Award in East Chicago and  in 2017 she received Most Inspiring Teacher Award in Hammond. When she is not at school, Principal Santellano likes to play basketball, swim, sing  and spend quality time with her loving husband and three kids.


Janice Wills

Administrative Assistant


Mrs. Janice Wills has worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago for 26 years in a variety roles including Administrative Assistant, Food Service and Before and After Care Coordinator. Mrs. Wills is happily married to Mr. Richard Wills, former Maintenance Supervisor here at SJDLS. Mrs. Wills is proud that 5 of her 6 children attended both Catholic Grammar and High School. She has 10 beautiful grandbabies! She loves coming to work every day with the St. John students and families. 


Fr. Kiiguta


Father Kiiguta has been the pastor at St. John de la Salle for 7 years. Father has a passion for education from Chicago to the school he started in his hometown in Tanzania.

Denise 2.jpg

Denise King

Preschool Instructor


     Denise King has taught for over 35 years and 33 years in Chicago Public Schools. She's taught Pre-K to first grade over her teaching career. Pre-K is her first love! She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is considered as a "Highly Qualified" teacher by the State of Illinois. In 2016, she retired from full time teaching in CPS but became a city wide consultant for CPS’s Early Childhood Department. As a consultant, she went to schools all over the city of Chicago to assist teachers in their curriculum, to observe them and to make sure the class environment was safe and healthy for pre-school children.


Keyaria Whitney

Preschool Instructional Assistant

and Before Care Coordinator


Ms. Whitney has been the Preschool aide at SJDLS for 3 years. She has also been the After-Care supervisor, substitute teacher, and goes wherever she is needed! Ms. Whitney has agreed to be the new Cheerleading Coach. In her spare time, Ms. Whitney likes to do hair, and volunteers her time to help the community. Ms. Whitney is an aunt to many nieces and nephews who she loves to spend time with. She enjoys playing games and working with young people.


Mary Pat Bertrand



Mrs. Bertrand is our Kindergarten teacher. She came to us in 2016 after the closing of St. Florian. She has 29 years of Archdiocesan experience in Pre-K and K and we value her expertise! Mrs. Bertrand has 2 adult daughters who are proud graduates of Catholic schools, and one new grandson, born in August.

Learn more about Mary Pat.


Constance Hudson

1st and 2nd grade teacher, After Care Coordinator


Mrs. Hudson has worked at St. John de la Salle for over 9 years in a variety of roles: Pre-K and Kindergarten Aide, After School Care Coordinator, Substitute Teacher, Before School coordinator, as well as coordinating the Mother-Son and the Father-Daughter dances in the spring! Before her time here, she worked throughout the Archdiocese teaching and assisting. Ms. Hudson can be found all over St. John assisting wherever needed. When asked what she loves most about St. John de la Salle, Mrs. Hudson replied, "Kids- I love all kids!" In her life outside of SJDLS, Mrs. Hudson has 4 grown children and 8 grandchildren.


Christine Aguirre

3rd and 4th Grade


Ms. Aguirre has been working in education since 2013. After graduating from Governors State University in 2012 she was a Paraprofessional in District 171 and worked with five first grade teachers.  The next year Ms. Aguirre accepted a position in District 161 and worked with students in an inclusive classroom.  Her first teaching position was at St. Joseph’s school in Homewood, Illinois where she taught fourth grade and also fifth grade science.  When St. Joseph closed, she began teaching at St. John de la Salle Catholic Academy teaching fourth grade and for the past three years a third/fourth combined class.  Ms. Aguirre obtained her LbS1 endorsement this past summer from University of St. Francis.  She is the math leader, mentor to new teachers, and RTI (Response to Intervention) coordinator.  Ms. Aguirre is currently in the Masters Program at Olivet Nazarene working towards a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.  She has three amazing children.  Her oldest son just graduated from Northwestern Law School and is a lawyer in Houston, Texas.  Her middle son attends ISU majoring in Marketing and her daughter is attending SIU majoring in Social Work.  In her spare time Ms. Aguirre enjoys baking, Yoga, and spending time with her family. 

Learn more about Christine.

Damani McClellan

 5th-6th Science and History


Mr. McClellan is a graduate of Roosevelt University, with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Biology. Before entering the education field, he worked in clinical research, examining chronic illnesses. Mr. McClellan joins us from teaching at Marya Yates Elementary school in the south suburbs and is excited to teach science and history to our 5th and 6th grade scholars.

Christina Laucello.jpg

Christina Laucello

7th Grade Homeroom, 5th-8th English and Language Arts


Ms. Laucello is an adjunct professor at Truman College for English and taught English and Theology at Holy Cross Academy in Oneida, New York.


Daniel Fleming

5th-8th Math 


Mr. Fleming has been an educator of Catholic students primarily since 1997.  He has been both an administrator as well as a junior high Math teacher for all those years.  Mr. Fleming grew up in Hazel Crest, and attended Brother Rice High School.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and his Masters Degree from Governors State University.  


Mr. Fleming and his wife Mary Kay, also a Catholic school educator, have been married 16 years.  They have 2 boys, Kevin, age 15, and Matthew, age 13.


Señora Ortega


Senora spends the summer working with children in need in her native Ecuador. Senora is working to teach all of our students Spanish in grades PK-8, as well as starting an after-school Spanish Club.


Rochelle Tucker

Physical Education Teacher

Rochelle is a graduate of Lewis University, with  a B.S. degree in Biology and a minor in physical Education. Her career started at the University of Illinois Chicago in animal research Hematology, in Sickle Cell Anemia. She is excited to return to education and is teaching junior high science and physical education. Her interests and hobbies are sports, yoga and health wellness and she loves animals. 

Ms. Hull joins us from teaching in Altgeld Gardens and Gary, Indiana. Students and parents can find more info about her homework and classwork on:



© Copyright 2023

St. John de la Salle Catholic Academy.

Proudly created with Wix.com

Contact Us

Tel: (773) 785-2331


10212 South Vernon Avenue

Chicago, IL 60628